Ramadan has started this weekend all around the world for Muslims. In the UK the days are looking to be quite long and warm so I hope everyone is pacing themselves. I hope that everyone fasting during this special month makes the most of the days ahead to shake bad habits, create new ones and purify heart, body and soul.
Ramadan is fast approaching and in preparation many muslims buy dates that are traditionally used to open fasts at sunrise. A campaign which starts today and that I have been aware of and have supported for some time now, is one run by Friends of Al-Aqsa who remind us that when buying dates we should check the label to see where the dates come from, to ensure that we are not buying dates grown in illegal settlements such as West Bank or Jordan Valley. To do so would further oppress the Palestinian people who’s land has been stolen.
So those that are buying dates in the coming weeks please remember to #Checkthelabel.
Nelson Mandela “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.
For more information see here
This weekend my sister and I went to the London Muslim Lifestyle show in West London, which was an event bringing together different products and services that are available for Muslims. I wasn’t too sure what to expect but I was looking forward to finding out.
There was a wide variety of things on offer; from different kind of foods, to jewellery and books.
My favourite things were the beautiful pieces of Arabic art, the stunning bottles of attar/perfume and tasty food on offer. I learnt lots of new things and was genuinely impressed by all innovative ideas that were presented from new phone apps to products that filled gaps in the market.
It was tempting to buy everything I liked, which was too much, but I managed to hold back and stick mainly to window shopping and tasters, treating myself to a few lovely things.
As you can tell I got a bit carried away with my photos, but there was just so much to see. As well as stalls there were fashion shows, singers and workshops that you could attend. My sister and I also had a lot of fun having our photos taken in photo booths wearing silly props. I thought it was an interesting event and meeting a diverse range of smiley people people, both Muslim and non created a great atmosphere.
On Friday all my siblings, along with their families, came over for iftar. Iftar is the arabic word for ‘break fast’ and is the meal that we have when its time to open our fast during Ramadan. My sister’s decided to help out and bring along a dish or two to share. We had a whole range of foods and what was planned as small meal quickly became a feast.
Traditionally dates are eaten to open a fast but with a whole range of foods to choose from everyone found something they wanted to eat. There was some delicious, fresh exotic fruit, chicken sandwiches and creamy pasta, as well as my mum’s famous kebabs. There were also some slightly unhealthy but tempting options such as curly fries and samosas. Other foods to eat were chicken curry, chickpea salad and mango salad, and my sister-in-law’s succulent lamb chops. I would have taken more pictures but there came a point where I had to put the camera down and dig in.
For dessert we had a choice of refreshing mango milkshake, sweet jalebi and pretty cakes.
When we put everything down ready to eat we all had some of everything and were soon full to the brim. It was a nice evening with everyone sharing a much needed nourishing meal and good company. I look forward to Eid which isn’t far away now to enjoy another big meal together.
Ramadan Mubarak to Muslims around the world who are fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and this year in England the days will be quite long as Ramadan is over summer, but I will try to make the most of it and take things a little slower than my usual hectic pace. I hope that everyone fasting during this special month makes the most of the days ahead to shake bad habits, create new ones and purify heart, body and soul